If you look up "Coda" in the dictionary, one of the multiple definitions that you will see is "anything that serves as a concluding part" which is obviously a fitting title for the ultimate section of this book. If you've been following along, you know that I am posting the final installment of the #D100bloggerPD blog book study of Donalyn Miller's book Reading in the Wild. If you are here for the first time today, I'd love for you to check out the previous posts- as they include a multitude of resources, reflections, and thoughts from some very intelligent members of my district and our blogging professional development crew. Here's what has happened so far:
Literacy Loving Gals with Chapter 1: Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read
Miss G Does 5th with Vignette: Creating a Workshop Schedule that Works for You
Courtney O'Connor Guest Blogging on Literacy Loving Gals with Chapter 2: Wild Readers Self-Select Reading Material
Social Justice Superheroes with Vignette: Curating a Classroom Library
Responsive Literacy with Chapter 3: Wild Readers Share Books with Other Readers
Pershing Principal Blog with Vignette: Conferring: What's the Point?
That Literacy Lady with Chapter 4: Wild Readers Have Reading Plans
The Bazz Blog with Vignette: Building a Personal Canon
Reading is Thinking with Chapter 5: Wild Readers Show Preferences
*You can also read my post on the making of a blog book study here*
As I read the final section of Donalyn's book, which is a touching story of a reading relationship between her and her students, I couldn't help but think back to all the times I have had similar relationships with my students. As some of my readers know, I am a reading specialist in an elementary school- and formerly in a middle school. As part of my job, I teach RTI (Response to Intervention) groups- which is basically a reading group for students who are struggling for a variety of different reasons with reading at their current grade level and the group is designed to help them grow to their reading potential.
I always stop people when they say that my job is to "fix" student's reading. I'm not a handyman- I don't fix anything.I do, however, build a relationship with students to determine their current reading abilities and work with them to set a path to achieve their own potential. Because of this, I encounter students on a daily basis who finding their way to a love for reading. I believe that if I can help a student find that love for reading, while helping them bridge some of their gaps, that they too can become lifelong wild readers and begin to fulfill their full reading potential. This is my passion. This is my lifelong journey.
Like Donalyn Miller talks about in this Coda section of the book, I, too, share wonderful moments with my readers. A couple weeks ago I reached a milestone with one of my fifth grade students. She has been in the RTI process for a couple years now and until recently did not identify as a reader. This story is proof that when students begin to identify as a reader, that they can transform their ability- just with a positive mindset. I started seeing this student in August at the beginning of the year. She was polite and well behaved in group but never really excited to be reading. This continued on with us- me trying to find a "hook" to ignite her reading passion and her making slow but steady improvement toward grade level. Then one day our Assistant Principal Ms. Bazz, a definite wild reader herself, went into this 5th grade classroom and performed (I say performed because it was, no doubt, an epic show!) some book talks. Later that same afternoon, this student came to my group and was raving about how exciting books can be.
I think the only thing left is to leave you with this quote- which Donalyn used to begin her Coda chapter. I think it fits perfectly the summation of this book study as it is not, in fact, a coda at all, rather a beginning for all of us.
If you've enjoyed being a part of this study or enjoyed reading along with it, please stay in touch! Keep up with future blog studies by following #D100bloggerPD on Twitter.
I want to thank each and every blogger who took part in this inaugural book study as part of the Berwyn South District 100 #D100bloggerPD crew.
Each of you are special and talented and I am lucky to work with all of you.
P.S. It was especially great to see our #D100bloggerPD hashtag trending on Twitter back on 11/29- I love the fact that we are all getting together to spread the learning in our district and share our thoughts with the whole twitter-verse! Remember: we are all in this together. The more we share and the more we learn from each other- the better!! Thanks for reading this and being a part of my PLN!